After finding their way out to beat Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League last Wednesday, Real Madrid will now turn their attention to bouncing back to victory in the Spanish top flight when they welcome Deportivo Alaves on Saturday.
Deportivo Alaves on the other hand are winless in their last three games in the league which has seem them amass just three points within that time.
Ahead of Saturday’s game against Pablo Machin’s men, we take a look at some key battles that could spark the interest in the encounter.
Nacho Fernandez vs Lucas Perez
Nacho was brilliant in the Champions League game against Inter and is in line was again to start over the weekend with Eder Militao and Ramos both out. Lucas Perez will be his opponent this time around, the last Alaves player to score against Madrid in the last three games.
Perez has two goals and two assists already this season so the defender would have to be alert in his dealings with the forward.
Raphael Varane vs Joselu
Joselu has not had the best of starts to this campaign likewise Varane, who has taken some huge criticism in the wake of Madrid’s last few games. However, he will have to be at his best to mark out a 30-year-old Joselu who is well composed and very athletic in the opposition’s half.
Mariano Diaz vs Ruben Duarte
Mariano could be starting his third game in a row for Madrid on Saturday with Karim Benzema still struggling to regain full fitness. The forward will be up against Alaves’ Ruben Duarte – a defender who is much better in terms of tackling. It could take a brilliant piece of thinking to outperform Duarte and that would be the cravings of the Madrid striker over the weekend.